Let’s face it, every marketer today understands the importance of social media in the digital advertising world. Just like technology, social media is forever evolving. With more and more businesses dipping their toes into the world of social media, it becomes vital to keep up with the upcoming trends to stay competitive in the industry.
As 2018 approaches, it will be interesting to see how social media will continue to evolve and unleash new marketing strategies and opportunities for both consumers and businesses.
Here’s a quick recap of what happened in the social media marketing world in the past year:
With a plethora of new technological advancements going mainstream, social media is poised to take a flying leap into the epicenter of digital marketing and create even more disruption in the coming year.
Here are the five important social media marketing trends to watch out for in 2018:
1. Rise of Chatbots and Messaging Platforms
According to statistics, over 2.5 billion people worldwide use messaging apps on a daily basis. In simpler terms, people nowadays spend more time in social messaging than in social media, especially the younger millennial generation. According to a recent study, the time spent in social and messaging apps quadrupled (increased by 394% to be exact) in 2016, as compared to an average growth of 69 percent across all tracked segments. As a result, business owners need to step out of their comfort zone in the coming year and focus primarily on creating social messaging apps. It’s been predicted that 30 percent of our chat conversations will be via Chatbots by the end of 2018.
Presently, more than 45,000 developers are using Facebook’s “Wit.ai” Chatbot-building tool to create Chatbots for the messenger. Also, Microsoft has introduced a tool named Bot Framework, particularly for bot building. Long story short, Artificial Intelligence, Voice Assistants, and Chatbots will enable marketers to offer personalized shopping experiences on messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Hike, Kik, and others.
2. Growing Emphasis on Video Content
There is a prediction that around 80 percent of global internet traffic will be attributed to video by 2018. Well, that’s not it! Statistics show that more than 50 percent of marketers name video as the content type with the best ROI. Presently, around 87 percent of marketing professionals use video in their campaigns.
According to a recently conducted research, the total spending on social video advertising increased 130 percent this year, with no sign of stopping. The numbers are huge, admittedly! As a result, more and more content strategists are focusing on producing video content rather than pictures for brand marketing. And because of the increasing popularity of video content, this trend is expected to continue in 2018, thus making it a valuable format to leverage.
3. Increasing Popularity of Instagram Stories
One of Instagram’s notable features is its ‘Stories’ section, and the good news is that it’s not going away anytime soon. If you’re a big Snapchat fan, then here’s something you need to know: The daily viewers of Instagram Stories surpassed their Snapchat counterparts in just one year since its launch, with 20 million views a day, and the growth isn’t slowing down.
Presently, more than 250 million people around the globe use Instagram Stories every day, and with that rate, it can be foretold that nearly half of all Instagram users will be using Stories by the end of the next year. This means brands that are looking forward to connecting with their customers on Instagram need to invest their time in understanding the concept of Stories.
4. Expansion of Live Streaming
What was once a novel gimmick, i.e., Live Streaming – is now become an indispensable part of social media. This trend became highly popular in 2017, and we are going to see a lot more of it in 2018 and beyond. Today, brands and businesses of all sizes (both large and small) use live streaming to capture the attention of their followers. More than 100 million users today watch online videos on a daily basis. In addition to that, around 81 percent of users increased their live video consumption in 2016 as compared to 2015.
In the coming years, its prevalence will increase, probably because it works. To be precise, more and more brands will continue to harness the power of live streaming and will incorporate it into their monthly content plans. Plus, social media goliaths like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and more will leave no stone unturned to capitalize on this trend.
5. Generation Z Enters the Workforce
According to a recently conducted study by Goldman Sachs, Gen Z is more valuable to social media marketing companies as compared to millennials, simply because of their rapidly increasing buying power. The age of Gen Z consumers ranges from three to twenty-one (those born in 1995 or later). In addition, the Gen-Zers born between 1995 and 2012 are considered as the “True Digital Natives”.
This generation accounts for almost 26 percent of the US population (the largest percentage) and contributes $44 billion to the American economy. There’s been a prediction that by 2020, Gen Z will make up one-third of the US population. Generation Z is two to three times more likely to be influenced by social media than by sales or discounts.
Here’s what makes Gen Z different from Millennials: Gen-Zers are less focused, better multitaskers, full of early starters, more entrepreneurial, has higher expectations than millennials, and more.
2018 is Almost Here! Are You Ready?
It’s no secret that 2018 will bring many innovations and advancements in social media marketing. With 360/VR & Augmented Reality, AI Chatbots & Instant Messaging, Live Streaming, Ephemeral Content, Digital Hangouts, and so much more in its bucket, 2018 has a lot to offer in the world of marketing.
As the year comes to an end, it’s time to reconsider your social media approach (keeping the above-mentioned trends in mind) in order to maximize your marketing ROI. To kick-start 2018 on the right foot, get your plans underway now so that you can stay ahead of the curve with these latest trends. What did we miss? Leave us a comment and let us know!